As Ruggabellus reaches their 10-year anniversary in 2019, Five Way Cellars is delighted to once again have the opportunity to offer a small allocation of their unique and beautifully crafted wines.
Recently reflecting on the journey thus far, winemaker Abel GIbson said, “It almost feels like another lifetime that Emma and I bravely committed to buying our first few tonnes of grapes. We were excited to explore the wine-making techniques we’d imagined whilst reading about this beautiful and ancient craft. A decade feels like a significant period of time... enough time to settle in to our craft, accrue some meaningful knowledge, and most importantly, enough time for the knowledge to manifest itself in our work.”
And it’s undeniable that the knowledge has, indeed, manifested itself. Like many of you, we’ve been following Ruggabellus from day one and have been rewarded each year with new releases that reflect the honing of their winemaking craft over the course of a decade while reflecting the nuances of each site as well. Persistent yet patient experimentation with small parcels of Grenache, Mataro, Syrah and Cinsault, and, more recently, old vine Syrah, Riesling, Semillon and Muscat has paid off and culminated in wines that are absolutely intriguing. We've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the Ruggabellus range to date, and we're eager to see how it evolves. It’s hard to imagine wines more full of character in the future, but if anyone can keep on producing ever more interesting red blends and continue to raise the bar on skin-contact whites, it’s Ruggabellus. “We remain open and ready for the lessons ahead,” says Abel. To which we say, we will remain ready to open the lessons ahead.
With that kind of humble open-mindedness and willingness to take risks, it's no wonder that Ruggabellus has earned a reputation as trailblazers for the so-called ‘New Barossa’ wine movement. An April 2019 New York Times article described the wines of Ruggabellus as “complex, challenging yet gorgeous wines that show the influence of Radikon and Gravner, masters of ancient-reborn-as-modern styles in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeastern Italy," going on to say about the Australian ‘lo-fi’ wine movement as a whole, “This counterculture is not a single group of winemakers working toward one goal, but a spectrum encompassing many different degrees of rebellion from the mainstream Australian standards set in the 1990s. What they have in common is the myriad beautiful wines they produce.”
We reckon that if you're keen to try something along that spectrum, Ruggabellus is an excellent place to start. We have sold out of the 2018 Archaeus, but still have the following wines in stock: